Christian Welp

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Christian Welp spent only one year -1983 – at Olympic High School and the 7-foot German led the Trojans to a state championship that year. He went on to star at the University of Washington, played three seasons in the NBA, and returned to Europe where he played several years. For the Trojans he played 24 games, scored 530 points (22.1 average) and took almost as many rebounds. Olympic, led by Welp’s 20 points and 19 rebounds, defeated Centralia 54-51 in four overtimes for the 1983 state championship. His 2,073 career points is still the UW record and his 995 rebounds stand third all-time. He was a Pac-10 all-star all four years, Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, and, as a junior, the Pac-10 Player of the Year. In 1986 he was voted Player of the Year in District 8 (West Coast). The Huskies voted him MVP on their 1986 and ’87 teams. Philadelphia drafted him in the first round of the 1987 NBA draft, but injuries limited his play to 10 games. The next year was his only full season, 72 games. His knee troubles stemmed from a game in Chicago played on a slick floor laid over the ice arena. He played 13 games for San Antonio and 14 for Golden State in 1989-90 before calling it a career. Welp was also elected to the University of Washington Hall of Fame and the Olympic High School Hall of Fame.

Tony Boddie

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Boddie was a standout for the Bremerton High School football team that was the first one that had been merged from East and West High. He was all-league his junior and senior years on both sides of the ball and led Bremerton to the state quarterfinals but was felled by a cheap shot that forced him to miss their semifinal game, a 3-0 loss to Ingraham. As a Bremerton senior he was selected to play in the all-state game. Boddie accepted a Montana State scholarship, where he became the starting running back as a sophomore, second team all-Big Sky Conference as a junior, then all-league and all-America honorable mention his senior season. The LA Express of the United States Football League drafted him in the 12th round and he outplayed Hershel Walker of the New Jersey Generals in the league’s first nationally-televised game. Boddie played for the Express 1983-85 before joining the Denver Broncos in 1986. He was selected Denver’s "best conditioned athlete" two years in a row and in Super Bowl XXII he was special teams captain for the Broncos. Injuries ended his career in 1988. He completed his degree work in 1990 at the University of Washington and has worked for Nestle ever since.

Super Bowl captain Boddie proudest of degree

Julie Thompson Meeson

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When Dick Thompson set about building the Diamond Dusters fastpitch program (1988-1995), he didn’t have to look very far to find the corner stone. She was his daughter, Julie. In 1989 Julie Thompson and the ‘Dusters were in the 16U Nationals at Greenwood, Indiana, where Julie pitched in all seven games in 90-degree heat/95 percent humidity and matched future Olympic star Krista Williams in a 3-hit duel. The fifth place finish was the highest ever in a National tournament by a Washington team. Thompson began a four-year run at Central Kitsap High in 1992, reaching the state tournament and earning all-Olympic League honors each year. CK won the 1993 state championship when she no-hit Richland in the championship game. Central was second in 1994 and third in 1995. Julie’s high school pitching record was 67-11. She then played at Olympic College and was an NWAACC all star both years. Meanwhile, she was leading the Diamond Dusters to the Nationals. In 1993 the ‘Dusters were state and regional 16U champions, 9th at Nationals and 5th at the Colorado Fireworks tournament. In 1994 they won the 18U regionals, advanced to Nationals and were 5th in the Fireworks. In 1995, they were seventh at the Fireworks. Meeson Thompson coached two years at Bainbridge HS (1998-99) and has helped develop several young pitchers in the area, including Lisa Hill, Oregon State; Jill Bruins, Utah; Lauren Haas, Southern Illinois, and Sheena Stangler, Holy Cross. Julie is married to Timothy Meeson II. They have two sons Caleb and Joshua, and live in Port Orchard where she works with pre-schoolers.

Harland Svare

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Harland Svare was a two-way lineman in North Kitsap’s single-wing offense. At 200 pounds he was big for his time. The Vikings also had a "tackle around" play that sprung Svare for several touchdowns before his graduation in 1949. His play earned all-star and all-state recognition and attracted the attention of Forest Evashevski, the single –wing coach at Washington State College. At WSC Harland again was a standout, playing mostly on defense, but, living with the rules of the day, played both ways. Again his play was recognized and he was selected to play in the 1953 East-West Shrine game. The Los Angeles Rams drafted him in the 17th round that same year. After two seasons (20 games) he was traded to the New York Giants in 1955 where he played six seasons (69 games), including the Giants’ championship teams, 1956, ’58 and ’59. He was an all-pro selection in 1958. He is an outside linebacker on the Giants’ all-time defensive roster. Svare recalls being cut on a Wednesday, but the coaches were talking about making the defensive end more active and decided to keep Svare one more week because of his athleticism. Svare made 17 tackles that game and of course was not cut. Instead he added the title of defensive coordinator and helped Tom Landry develop his 4-3 defense. He replaced Landry on the coaching staff. In 1962 the Rams hired him to finish the season for Bob Waterfield (who retired at mid-season) and at 31 he became the youngest head coach in NFL history. His Rams coaching years were 1962-65. Svare was the defensive coordinator for the Giants, 1967-68, and held the same position with the Washington Redskins when Vince Lombardi died in 1969. Svare was selected head coach and general manager of the San Diego Chargers, 1971-73. He next was president of T.H.E. Athletics for 15 years, using his Svare training method. He also designed and developed the Svare Mobility Course in 1988. He’s now retired and lives in the San Diego area.

Sean Spencer

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Sean Spencer played for two major league teams, Seattle and Montreal, and for Greece in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. At 31 he might still be playing if his left elbow had not given out. Spencer threw two no-hit games at South Kitsap High School. One was a 17-strikeout beauty against Wilson. His SK record was 51-10. At the University of Washington he played first base and pitched until he blew his elbow in 1996. The Mariners took a chance on him and nursed him all the way to Seattle where he pitched in two games in 1999. But the Mariners traded him to Montreal for catcher Chris Widger. In 2000 he got into eight games for the Expos. Baltimore gave him another chance in 2003. That was when he learned his Greek ancestry made him eligible for the Greek National Team. As host country Greece was required to field a team in the baseball tournament. Greece won only one game in Athens. Spencer’s all-around play at South Kitsap made him a prime prospect and his play at Washington also was outstanding. In 1993 he was in the same U.S. Olympic Festival group with Alex Rodriguez. In 1994 he was named to the U.S. National team off his play as a Husky. A sore arm denied Spencer a place on the Japan tour. When his arm was right his minor league statistics were outstanding. He had two 18-save seasons and had fanned 53 and walked only 23 in 49 innings at Tacoma before his big league trial in 1999. Montreal had the same experience, but released him during the 2002 season. It was mid-2003 when his arm had healed from anther surgery and Baltimore gave him yet another chance, then gave him permission to join the Greek National Team. He played in four of Greece’s eight games in the 2003 European tournament in Holland. The 2004 Olympic year was his last in baseball. Spencer has returned to Port Orchard, is married and starting a career in banking and real estate.

Larry Maguire

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Larry Maguire taught himself wrestling, but was a born coach. Maguire went from Chelan High School to Central Washington College where he became a tackle on the football team. He was so good at that that he was selected on Central’s all-20th century team and is in Central’s Athletic Hall of Fame. Maguire came to Kitsap County in 1965 as South’s head football and wrestling coach. His South teams won nine consecutive Olympic League titles and 91 straight team matches. His overall South record is 218-37-2. Maguire left South to be principal at Tenino (13 years) but returned to Kitsap County and was North Kitsap’s coach for 10 years. A hearty handshake and his true feeling of care and interest in the students he coached made Maguire among the most popular and respected coaches to grace the region. He is a member of the Washington State High School Coaches Hall of Fame and this summer was recognized by the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Museum, Stillwater, Okla. for his lifetime service to the sport of wrestling. Maguire, 72, died of ALS in December 2006.

Coach Leaves Legacy On and Off Mat

Janet Soderberg

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Janet Soderberg, who was the Kitsap Sun Female Athlete of the Year her junior year at Bremerton when the Knights made it to tournament play always wanted to be a Husky, but the route she took to get there was long in years and included a trip to Australia as a player. She was playing on a select team in Australia when June Daugherty, who would become head coach at Washington, first saw her. She played both soccer and basketball at Bremerton, but basketball was her sport. Bremerton coach Doug Wagner made her his point guard and she played for the Cascades select team. When college offers came around, it was Boise State that called. She played her final three years at BSU for Daugherty. Watching Daugherty build the BSU program and capture the attention of Boise State students (from a handful of fans to 11,000 sellouts) helped her decide to answer Daugherty’s invitation to stay another year as her student assistant. Her coaching trail went from Boise State, 1992-93; University of the Pacific, 1993-95; BSU, 1995-99 (three years as associate head coach); Nevada, 1999-2000; a year off to work on a doctorate, and then back with Daugherty at Washington where she was an assistant until 2007. She has a bachelor of arts degree in psychology from Boise State and earned a masters in educational and counseling psychology while coaching at Pacific. At Nevada she was the recruiting coordinator and handled team travel and game scheduling.

Jerry Parrish

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Jerry Parrish requires a love for young people and knowing a bit about football. Parrish retired from 46 years of coaching and teaching after the 2004 season, but came back for another season and still helps out occasionally. Parrish is a regular at a wide range of Viking events, living what he preaches. He also works at making his sport better for both players and spectators. Over the years he adjusted his wing-T offense to fit the talent and the times, to something he calls "Wings and Things." In 32 seasons as coach at North, he has been a winner 22 times, including 10 straight, 1982-91 (71-28 record). He has been the executive secretary of the Washington State Coaches Association, since 1992; Seattle Seahawks Coaches Council, 2004-06; selection committee of the Washington State All-Star Football Game, since 1978; National Federation of High School Athletics Rules Committee, 1993-97; and executive member of the National Organization of Coaches Association direct, since 1992. His awards include the Washington State Football Coaches Hall of Fame. National Football Foundation National Achievement Award, and 12th winner of the Tony Gasparovich Award.

Steve Force

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Force has been bowling since he was 7 and has captained the Benik team for 20 years. He led the Open run with a 695. Brian Van Wert, 692; Lonnie Sharkey, 688; Henry Dawson, 680, and Robert Zerbrugg, 647, filled the Benik count to 3,402 pins. Force was a legend before his time. On a snowy January night in 1971, as a 17-year-old sub, he joined the high rollers with an 819 series (289-275-255), the first 800 series in county history and the county standard for years after. He was the youngest 800 roller nationally for that season, 1970-71, and was featured in Sports Illustrated’s Faces in the Crowd for his achievement. He’s been a high roller ever since. Encouraged by his parents and family he has a long list of achievements and now is adding senior bowling accomplishments. In 1988 he was elected to the Kitsap County Bowling Association Hall of Fame and three years later to the Kitsap Scratch Bowlers Organization Hall of Fame. He has 28 KSBO titles; was Northwest Bowlers Association all-events champion in 1987 and ’88 (241 and 239 averages), and general manager at All Star Lanes for 11 years before joining the Benik Corp. 10 years ago. Since turning 50, Force has won two NW Senior tours, four Western Washington Senior Tours, the Washington Senior Tournament Grand Finals, and in 2004 ran a five-game series of 280-227-197-300-299 in the Oregon Senior Tournament at Albany. In his last two games he had 23 consecutive strikes and his 1,303 was a 261 average. He has had eight perfect 300 games and his highest season average is 224. Force led Benik Corporation to national prominence with a fourth-place finish in the 2006 U.S. Bowling Congress Open Championships at Corpus Christi, Texas. Force currently bowls for the Puget Sound Senior All-Star Tour.

1947 Bremerton football team

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Excitement over a Bremerton High School football team has probably never been higher than it was the fall of 1947. The team had been 8-2 in 1946 and the only starter lost was running back Gale Wade, who turned down a college scholarship for $5,000 to sign with the Brooklyn Dodgers baseball team. Quarterback Don Heinrich was the team leader and Dwight Scheyer was the coach. Scheyer, at 6-4, 220-pounds, was a striking individual. He had been an all-Coast tackle at Washington State College under the legendary Babe Hollingbery and placed third in the discus in the 1935 NCAA championships
Scheyer came to Bremerton as head football and baseball coach in 1942. His experience was two uneventful seasons at North Kitsap and Snohomish, But at Bremerton he walked into a loaded deck and he knew how to play it.
Bremerton had rejoined several other major schools in a revival of the pre-war Cross-State League. So the schedule was not an easy one.
The Wildcats had been working all summer at Twanoh State Park and any place else they found room in hopes of having a really great season. Then they heard talk from Seattle, where high school teams were not allowed to compete outside the city, that there might be a "Turkey Day" game against the Seattle champion in the High School Memorial Stadium on Thanksgiving Day.
Bremerton had whipped O’Dea 64-0 in its opener and was on its way. Everett, a victor over Bremerton for 11 straight years, and Yakima were two possible roadblocks. Yakima beat Everett 8-7 on a bad-snap safety in the mud at Everett, but Bremerton finally whipped the Seagulls, 27-0.
Meanwhile, the Seattle prize was confirmed and Bremerton was being challenged by everybody. Scheyer and Bremerton Athletic Director Larry Ramm tried to accommodate. Bremerton even squeezed in a Tuesday night game at Port Angeles (a 34-6 win) to appease the Olympic League.
It was during halftime at PA that Scheyer told his team they already had the Turkey Day bid. But they still had a game at unbeaten Yakima. If Bremerton should lose that one, there would be an uproar all across the state.
Scheyer and Ramm rose to the occasion. In 1947 you couldn’t just go to your nearest airline ticket counter and buy 50 tickets to get your football team from here to there. In fact no Washington high school athletic team had ever flown to a game. And there were no pressurized cabins in those days. It would be a challenge to fly below the oxygen limits and get forth and back before sunset.
In was a beautiful Saturday in Yakima. An overnight skiff of snow had melted. The field was wet, but firm. The Wildcats had no trouble putting Yakima in the same league as Everett, winning 27-0. But now they had to get home. The route was over Snoqualmie Pass and the bewitching hour was 4:05 p.m., official sunset that day.
Another challenge for Scheyer and Ramm was that game day was the day of the Senior Prom. Gambling on early-winter weather and all the hype and prom activities, Scheyer and Ramm won on all fronts.
The Yakima game was a breakout for sophomore running back Tiny Madlin, who scored two of the touchdowns on long runs. Scheyer was not risking his star running back, Jim Wiley. Heinrich was his usual calm and cool self and the small, but quick and hard-hitting Bremerton line opened holes wide enough for anyone to run through.
Used to crowds of more than 4,000 in Memorial Stadium, almost that many crowded a Black Ball ferry to get to the game in Seattle, where 16,000 fans crowded Memorial Stadium.
Bremerton won the game, beating unbeaten Ballard, 19-14. It was the passing of Heinrich and the running of Wiley and the Bremerton line, both offense and defense, that sent the Wildcats home with a perfect 12-0 season.
The Associated Press poll that determined "mythical champions" in those days voted Bremerton the state champion, 15-13. Longview and Chewelah, the unbeatens that Bremerton did not play, got the opposing votes.
Bremerton’s 12-game season raised other complaints and resulted in the "Bremerto rule." Washington high school football teams were limited to nine games. Exceptions were allowed for "traditional" Thanksgiving Day games and playoffs. That rule stood until 1973 when the present high school playoff systeam was adopted.
Five other Wildcats joined Heinrich on the University of Washington freshman team in 1948. They were linemen Ed Boyle, Jack Crawford and Bud Olsen, and halfbacks Wiley and George Ogg. Heinrich became an all-American and had a long career as an NFL player and coach. Wiley was a Husky star.
When the Kitsap Sun listed its teams and "players of the century" in December 1999, Heinrich was the Player of the Century and the 1947 Bremerton HS football team was the Team of the Century.
Don Heinrich was inducted into the Kitsap Sports Hall of Fame last year.